Vaccine Hoaxes Are Rampant On Social Media. Here’s How To Spot Them.

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December 18, 2020

Front-line health workers in the United States began receiving coronavirus vaccines this week. But on social media, false theories about the vaccines’ dangers and conspiracies about the government’s plans for it are multiplying.

This week, researchers at misinformation-research group Zignal Labs found that false narratives claiming that the vaccine contains tracking microchips and that the government will make vaccines mandatory continue to circulate. In some cases, right-leaning figures and news sites pushed the disinformation, as well as dubious websites and followers of bogus conspiracy theory QAnon.

Social media companies have been working all year to remove false and misleading information about the pandemic from their sites. Companies including Facebook and Twitter say they are redoubling their efforts with new rules related to vaccines this month, adding new labels and trying to point people to legitimate news.

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